Today’s traveler wants to be able to book vacation rental properties online, just as they do with a hotel, rental car, or flight. Online booking allows a traveler to submit a reservation request by clicking a button on your listing with a commitment to pay. It’s a free feature that you can control through your dashboard that streamlines the booking process for you and your traveler.
Online booking helps you get more bookings faster and gives travelers the speed and convenience of a streamlined process. You maintain control of your decisions with 24 hours to call, email or vet the traveler. Before the 24 hours is up, you decide whether to accept, decline or even edit the reservation request based on your conversations.
Note: If you are a property manager that uses third-party software to manage your listings on HomeAway, VRBO or VacationRentals.com, you may be able to access online booking through your software by integrating with HomeAway. Contact your account manager or 1-888-581-1849 to discuss integration options.
TIP: Enabling and using online booking is the best indication that you are providing the kind of booking experience that travelers want. Online booking can contribute to a higher placement in search results. Learn more about search results>
Why online booking?
Using online booking is one of the most important things you can do to help improve a traveler’s booking experience. But it also comes with a lot of benefits for you:
*Based on a survey conducted in March 2012 to 2,199 travelers who inquired on HomeAway or VRBO
|Traveler requests a reservation
Traveler clicks the online booking button on your listing and selects one of the payment methods you’ve told us you accept, such as HomeAway Payments, PayPal, personal checks or bank transfer. If you use HomeAway Payments, the traveler can input their credit card information at the time of the request. If the traveler selects an alternative payment method, they won’t see your detailed payment instructions until you have accepted the booking.
|Communicate with the traveler
Once you receive the reservation request, you have 24 hours to contact the traveler if you want. You can email or call them to find out more about who they are and what their travel plans are.
|Accept, deny, or edit the reservation
Before the 24 hours is up, you decide whether the traveler will be a fit for your property. Accepting or declining is as simple as the click of a button. You can also edit the reservation request and have the traveler confirm the changes by submitting a new payment. If you don't respond within 24 hours, the request will be automatically declined, but you can still follow-up with the traveler.
If you are using HomeAway Payments: When you accept the reservation, the payment will be processed, you’ll be paid according to your payment schedule, and the reservation will be automatically added to your reservation calendar. Any additional payments will be automatically scheduled and invoiced.
If the booking was made using an alternative payment method: Your guest will receive the payment instructions on file after you accept the booking. They’ll receive a notification and be directed to the checkout page to view your instructions. You will coordinate with the traveler directly to process the payment. You can manually mark that you have received the payment in your Reservation Manager.